Tax filing: 10 things to know

1) The last date for filing your income tax returns for the previous year 2011-12 (AY – 2012-13) has been postponed from July 31 to August 31, 2012.

2) The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has made e-filing of income-tax returns mandatory for all whose annual earnings exceeded Rs 10 lakh during fiscal 2011-12.

3) There are 3 ways to file returns electronically:

    • With a digital signature
    • Without digital signature
    • Through an e-return intermediary

4) To file your returns online, you need to log onto the website of the Income Tax department. If you have not registered, you can do so with the help of your permanent account number (PAN). Download the appropriate form, fill it in and follow the instructions. 

5) Once you successfully file your returns online, your ITR-Verification form will be sent to your registered e-mail ID (if you do not have a digital signature). Get a print out of the ITR-V, sign it and send it by ordinary/ speed post to the Income Tax Department-CPC, Post Bag No 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560100. You should do this within 120 days of filing your returns on-line.

6) On the home page of the e-filing website mentioned earlier, do read the link on the Dos and Don’ts for printing and submitting of ITR-Vs.

7) Security should not be a concern. The e-filing website of the Income Tax Department is secure. The tax payer has to register himself and only after successful registration will he be given an encrypted ID and password.

8) If you are a salaried individual, Form 16 given to you by your employer will contain all the information regarding your total income, taxable income, tax-saving investments made and amount of tax deducted. In other words, Form 16 is the proof for your income and tax paid to the government before you file your returns. Proofs of supporting deductions like investments in equity linked savings schemes (ELSS) and public provident fund (PPF), premium paid towards life insurance etc would have been submitted by you to your payroll department.

9) Do remember that charitable donations will not be included in Form 16. Donations to charities approved under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act entitle you to a tax exemption but this must be claimed separately at the time of filing returns.

10) Other forms you should be aware of are:

  • ITR-1 (SAHAJ): For individuals who have income from salary/pension; income from one house property (excluding lost brought forward from previous years); income from other sources (barring winnings from lotteries or income from horse racing)
  • ITR-2: This is identical to the above except that HUFs are included; the individual has income from house property and has brought forward loss from previous years; the individual has income from house property and owns more than one property; earnings from lotteries and horse racing are included
  • ITR-3: For individuals and HUFs being partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any proprietorship
  • For ITR-4: For individuals and HUFs who have income from a proprietary business or profession

To file your returns click here.

Though obtaining a digital signature is not mandatory, to read a basic FAQ on the subject, click here.

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